Leonardtown town council members are in agreement with a traffic consultant’s suggestions to adjust archaic traffic patterns downtown.
Traffic engineers suggested to the council that traffic coming into town from Fenwick Street should stop at Washington Street, and Washington Street traffic there should be free-flowing, a reversal of the town’s eclectic traffic pattern, which is a holdover from when the State Highway Administration owned Washington Street.
“There’s a lot of confusion in that area. There’s not a stop sign if you’re coming west on Fenwick Street toward the square, but everybody tends to stop there,” Laschelle McKay, Leonardtown’s town administrator, told the town council at their monthly business meeting earlier this month. “It also creates a problem for people who just are really unfamiliar with that area.”
Another proposal would make traffic one-way on the slim Park Avenue, from the square going toward the up-and-coming Inn at Leonardtown hotel, which is expected to open in June.
The change is in part due to outdoor seating at the line of restaurants on the square at the intersection “creating more obstacles,” McKay said, as well as parking for nearby apartments.
“We’ve always had an issue with the pedestrian crossing there,” McKay said, also adding the change is “really just some signage.”
“That corner next to Sweetbay really makes me nervous,” council member Mary Slade said. “That one, now that we’ve got all the chairs and the people out there, it’s gotten really hard to kind of see around.”
Another change would add a crosswalk on Fenwick Street between Social Coffeehouse and Quality Street Catering, where the town has seen increased pedestrian traffic.
“We really have a lot of people that are walking and trying to cross at that intersection,” McKay said. “We also have been working on trying to slow people down who are coming up the hill from [St. Mary’s Ryken High School], make it noticeable that you are coming into a congested area.”
The town has recently painted the road with slow-down notices.
Town to go forward with dock plan
In other business, the town decided to contract S.E. Davis Construction to work on continued work on the town’s Pier project at the Leonardtown Wharf.
The second phase of the project, which would add an additional 120 feet of T-shaped pier space for docking boats at the waterfront area, will be funded by a Maryland Department of Natural Resources Waterway Improvement grant.